A chill ran down Isellta’s spine as soon as Preyuna’s fingers splayed on the back of his neck. Trust her? Can I honestly say that I trust her? After all of the hurt and fear she’s put me through?
But I surrendered myself to her with the belief that she’ll let me see Robin again, that she’ll tell me when he finally arrives. If that isn’t trust, what is it?
A physical and mental memory made bile rush up to his throat.
Mark Caten…on top…pushing down…pushing in…heartless…hurting…uncaring…unkind…pushing harder…deeper…
Isellta pulled away from her and covered his mouth with his hands, but he couldn’t hold it in. What he was seeing and feeling was too much, too awful, too overwhelming. He vomited into his hands.
He uncovered his mouth and looked at the yellow foamy mess in his hands. His face burned. I’m filthy. I’m disgusting.
“Go to the bathroom and wash your hands.” Preyuna said. “And carefully consider your answer to my question: Do you trust me?”
Isellta stood without responding. He walked carefully to the bathroom, cradling his hands to prevent any of his vomit from hitting the floor. Disgusting. I’m so disgusting. I’m filthy. That’s all I am. Robin, why do you want me?
But you aren’t here.
He entered the bathroom and proceeded to wash his hands. But why would he be here? Why would he want me? Why would he come for me? He scrubbed his hands harder. I’m not worth it. I’m not worth anything. I’m filthy. I’m so filthy. That’s all that I am. Filth.
And Robin deserves so much better than that.
What about me, though? What do I deserve? Maybe Her Majesty is the best I can hope for. But even she deserves better.
What do I deserve?
Isellta had no answer to that question.
He scrubbed his hands harder.
Do I trust her?
Can I trust her?
The memories that he was seeing and feeling fell into a terrible mismatch. It was all a mishmash of sight and sensation that hit his stomach all wrong. He vomited into the sink before he could do anything to control it.
I don’t have a choice. He rinsed out his mouth. She’s the only one who can take these memories away. I have to trust her. Maybe she won’t hurt me this time. Maybe she’ll be gentle. It doesn’t really matter, though, if she’s gentle or not. She’s the only one who can help me.
Isellta shut off the water. He dried his hands and face with a nearby towel. He did not look at his reflection in the mirror.
I want it to stop. I want these memories to go away. I want them to be gone. But last time she removed my memories…It hurt.
“That doesn’t matter. What I’m seeing and feeling hurts a whole lot more. I want it to stop.” He cringed at the memory of a hand punching a face. “I want it to stop!”
Hands on her chest…on his chest…hurting, pain-giving hands…
Isellta gave in and left the bathroom. He walked over to her and knelt at her feet. “Do what you will. I trust you.”